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Jagjit Singh v. Tara Singh & Anr - RSA-818-1988  RD-P&H 407 (30 January 2006)
Regular Second Appeal No.818 of 1988.
Date of decision : 1.2.2006.
Jagjit Singh vs. Tara Singh and another .
Coram: Hon'ble Ms. Justice Kiran Anand Lall.
Present: Mr.Arun Jain,Advocate with Mr.P.S.Khurana,Advocate, for the appellant.
Mr.M.S.Khaira,Senior Advocate with
Mr.Abhinashi Singh,Advocate,for respondent no.2.
Kiran Anand Lall,J.
The plaintiff-appellant filed a suit for possession of the land measuring 14 kanals 18 marlas, detailed in the heading of the plaint, on the ground that he had become owner thereof by virtue of a family settlement/ arrangement, arrived at with his father Tara Singh, defendant no.1. Harbhajan Singh, defendant no.2, is his brother.
According to the case of the plaintiff-appellant, his father was under a heavy debt and the suit land which was owned by him had been attached for the re-payment of a loan of Rs.6219.20 paise. He owed debt to Ludhiana Primary Co- operative Land Mortgage Bank Limited, Ludhiana, also. Therefore, he and his father arrived at a family settlement, in the presence of relatives and respectables Regular Second Appeal No.818 of 1988. (2) *****
of the village, as per which it was agreed that the entire loan amount due from his father would be cleared by him (plaintiff) and in lieu thereof, his father would transfer the ownership of his land (with possession) to him. He, accordingly, paid off the loan amount to one Tarlochan Singh vide receipt dated 4.6.1976 and to Ludhiana Primary Co-operative Land Mortgage Bank Limited, Ludhiana vide receipts dated 27.6.1973, 17.6.1975, 27.5.1977, 22.6.1976, and 22.6.1978. But, when he asked his father to transfer his land to him, he refused to do so. Instead, his father executed a general power of attorney in favour of his another son, defendant no.2, with the malafide intention to transfer his land to some other person.
The defendants disputed the claim of the plaintiff-appellant, in toto.
In the alternative, it was pleaded that if there was any agreement, the plaintiff- appellant should have filed a suit for specific performance and not a suit for possession.
Parties went to trial on the following issues:-
1. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to the decree for possession of the land mentioned in the
headnote of the plaint, on the basis of a family settlement? OPP.
2. Whether the suit is not maintainable in the Regular Second Appeal No.818 of 1988. (3) *****
present form? OPD.
3. Relief. The trial court decreed the suit. The respondents went up in appeal which was accepted by the court of learned Additional District Judge and suit was dismissed.
The plaintiff-appellant is now in regular second appeal before this court.
Arguments addressed by both sides have been heard and the records perused.
The plaintiff-appellant claims to have paid off the loan-amounts, due from his father, defendant no.1, and his further case is that he did so in pursuance of a "family settlement" arrived at between him and his father, which was to the effect that his father would transfer the ownership of his land and also deliver its possession, to him. The relevant pleading in this regard, which appears in para no.3 of the plaint, is as under:-
".... It was further agreed that if the plaintiff return (s?) the entire amount the defendant No.1 will transfer the ownership of said land to plaintiff and will also deliver the possession to the plaintiff as its owner." (emphasis added).
Regular Second Appeal No.818 of 1988. (4) *****
It is this oral agreement allegedly arrived at between the plaintiff and defendant no.1 which was termed as "family settlement/ arrangement" by the plaintiff, in the plaint. The first appellate court found that no such settlement stood established on the basis of evidence on record, which was discrepant in nature. As per the statement of the plaintiff, as PW3, settlement was reached in the court premises, whereas his own witness PW5 Jagdev Singh testified that it (settlement) was arrived at in front of his house. In the absence of any document in this regard, oral evidence which was discrepant also could not have been believed. And the first appellate court did not believe it, and held that the story of family settlement did not stand established.
Even otherwise, Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, provides that right, title or interest, whether vested or contingent, of the value of Rs.100/- or more in the immovable property, can be created only by executing a registered document. In other words, nobody can acquire right, title or interest in immovable property of the value of Rs.100/- or more, on the basis of oral settlement or even a document which is not registered. It is also material to note that even as per the alleged oral settlement, the ownership of the land did not stand transferred. It had only been "agreed" that defendant no.1 would transfer the land. In view of this, the claim of plaintiff for its possession, without acquiring title or ownership in respect thereof, is not maintainable.
Regular Second Appeal No.818 of 1988. (5) *****
Learned counsel for the plaintiff-appellant also referred to AIR 1966 SC 323 Ram Charan Das vs. Girja Nandini Devi and others, 2003 (1) The Punjab Law Reporter 173 Gurdev Singh and others vs. Kartar Singh and others, 2003 (1) R.C.R. (Civil) 657 Jagdish vs. Ram Karam, and 2005 (2) The Punjab Law Reporter 846 Bant Singh vs. Lakhbir Singh and others, in support of his case. I have gone through all these judgments, but none of these is of any help to him. The first three pertain to the registration of a decree passed on the basis of a family settlement, whereas the last one i.e. judgment in Bant Singh's case pertains to registration of a compromise decree regarding a family settlement. In the case in hand, no decree had been passed on the basis of the alleged family settlement.
The judgment recorded by the lower appellate court is, thus, correct in all respects and it does not call for any interference.
The appeal shall, accordingly, stand dismissed. Parties shall bear their own costs.
1.2.2006 (Kiran Anand Lall)
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